After a ban of more than 70 years, the State of Colorado became the first to legalize the sale and use of marijuana for recreational use. And the reaction has been gangbusters, as an unexpectedly high volume of consumers flocked to Colorado, selling out many of its dispensaries.
Shares of the top six medical marijuana companies soared on the news that revenue projections would top $10 billion by 2018. And a recent study obtained by the Huffington Post suggests that the marijuana market is growing so fast, that it is poised to outpace the expansion of the global smartphone market – although I think that is a gross exaggeration.
Nevertheless, popular support for legalization of marijuana has reached it highest levels and 14 other states are expected to soon legalize.
But is the legalization of marijuana for recreational use really a good idea? I personally, don’t think it is.
I am not morally opposed the use of marijuana and believe that it is a fairly benign drug. The idea that marijuana is a gateway drug into other harder drugs is just absurd. Marijuana is not addictive and there has never been a recorded overdose from its use.
So if I seem to be such a fan of marijuana, why am I opposed its legalization?
Well, the main reason is the precedent that it will set in our legal system. The US is a litigious society and everyone is quick to sue in hopes for a pay day. Anytime there is an accident of any type an immediate investigation is conducted in order to determine fault. The reason for this protocol is to establish blame that can be used as evidence in court of law.
Marijuana stays in your bloodstream for 30 days and although the levels decrease over time, the system of measure is by no means exact science. This leaves too much room for interpretation and conjecture. It will therefore become difficult to prove that smoking pot within a certain time period has nothing to do with an error in judgement within that same time period.
Let’s think of a hypothetical example. What happens when a train conductor who smoked pot two weeks ago, crashes a train? Do you really think that low levels of pot found in the bloodstream will a exonerate a person from blame, after they’ve accidentally killed dozens of people? Or will it even a exonerate a motorist whose killed one person? Even is marijuana isn’t the cause of impairment, it will become the object of blame.
Because of the stigma associated with any type of drug use, credibility will become factor. What type of people generally smoke pot? People with low ambition? Degenerates? Maybe, but maybe not; I’m sure there are plenty of ambitious and successful people who smoke pot, but the stigma still exists. And once people start dying because of accidents where marijuana use is evident, that stigma, will be used as evidence.